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Why does the thread always get tangled in my sewing machine?

I worked with a fairly new Singer sewing machine for several years, but when I moved, I had to get a new one. So I bought a beautiful turquoise Bel-Air at a garage sale. It’s a few decades older (the man I bought it from said it was from the 50s or 60s) but he plugged it in and showed me that the pedal and needle and bobbin worked just fine.

When I try to sew with it, however, the bobbin’s thread always makes these awful big loops on the bottom of the fabric that tangle up my project. I can’t sew anything with it!

Here are some problems that I think might be the culprit, but I’m not sure which it is…
1. I place the bobbin so that it unwinds clockwise, with the thread coming out on the right when you pull it towards you.
2. Is my tension too high/low? I tried it with the knob on 7, 5, and 2, and all resulted in the same entanglements.

Help me, please!

What do you think? Answer below!

6 Responses to “Why does the thread always get tangled in my sewing machine?”

  1. kermit says:

    My original thought was the tension. It could also be that its not feeding into the machine or needle right. Are you sewing stretchy fabric? Sometimes that causes loopy problems.

  2. roby_wagner@sbcglobal.net says:

    I could be you have not put the thread in your bobbin case correctly. There is usually a “lock” that you pull your thread through. If the thread is not in this it will make a terrible mess when you sew. Just play around with the bobbin and see if it helps.

  3. lady bug says:

    You know, I had the same exact problem and tried absolutely everything I could. I tried every tension and every other trick possible. I am sorry that I can not offer you any advice, but I feel your pain. It is very frustrating. I wound up getting a new machine (and I am very glad I did, it is quiet and sews like butter!)

  4. hellafinemami says:

    You can also adjust the tension on your bobbin by turning the screw on the bobbin case.

  5. Deborah S says:

    You might also check the bobbin to see if when you fill the bobbin that is is going on evenly. If the bobbin isn’t filling up evenly then when the machine takes”up” the bobbin thread it would come off uneven which can account for loops of various sizes.

    Also maybe the bobbin you are using isn’t the correct one for your machine which would mean it isn’t seating correctly. I have 2 machines that each take a different bobbin. One of them is a “standard” bobbin that I can buy 8 or 10 to a package. I bought the wrong ones one time in a hurry, it looked the same but there was a size difference and it didn’t fit correctly.

    If you have checked the bobbin, the lower tension and the upper tension then maybe you can take the machine to have it “serviced” telling them your problem. Maybe something is missing from the bobbin area, it is an old machine.

  6. Sharon in NC says:

    First when you have a tangle on the underside of the fabric that actually indicates a problem with the upper thread.
    First unthread the machine.
    Ensure the presser foot is in the up position.
    rethread machine.
    lower presser foot
    Try sewing.
    It sounds like you threaded with the foot in the down position which does not allow the thread to seat properly in the upper tension discs.

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